POPLARVILLE, Miss. – Halloween at the River displayed plenty of heart, brains and courage throughout the exciting evening Tuesday. Pearl River Community College’s Fine Art’s and Communication department had the Ethel Holden Brownstone Center filled to the brim with magical energy and audience members through their production of OZ.
“What a show,” Director of Marching Bands and Instructor of Music Reuben McDowell said. “Hats off to all involved. What a fun faculty to work with and what great students. PRCC truly is the place to be.”
The show featured music from “The Wiz,” “The Wizard of Oz” and “Wicked.” The performance began with trumpet soloists Brandon Walker and Leigh Ann Gallagher serenading the audience in Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Soloists Riley Barber, Mallorie Saucier, Jessica Jordan, and Taylor Graham also dazzled with several songs and lyrical performances.
The performance highlighted the skills of sever of Pearl River’s Fine Arts groups. The Jazzcats jazz band played throughout the show as singing groups The Voices, PRCC Singers and RiverRoad Pop Choir performed for the crowd. Dynamic jazz numbers by the String of Pearls dance team also accompanied the show.
A costume contest was held throughout the night with audience members crossing the stage in funny, cute and scary ensembles. IT the clown, his victim and Georgie claimed third place. Peter Pan and his shadow took second while Spongebob and family accepted first place.
"This event is an opportunity to showcase the outstanding talents of the students and faculty of the department of fine arts and communications here at PRCC,” Director of Brownstone Performing Arts Center Dr. Trevor Hunt said. “We are proud to offer this experience for the community to join us for a night of great music and Halloween fun. And, really, those are our main goals: to showcase the talented people on campus and offer world class entertainment to the community.
“Best of all, we get to dress in costume, trick or treat in a safe environment, and have fun! We chose the OZ as this year's theme because of the timeless nature of the story; we felt like everyone could relate to it and enjoy it."
A chili cook-off was hosted by the Poplarville/Hancock Faculty and Staff Association pre-concert and had 12 participants. Judges included Poplarville Mayor Rossie Creel, Poplarville business owners Russ Miller and Gale Harris, as well as PRCC employees Scottie Fletcher and Robert “Scooter” Parris.
Attendees had the chance to try all 12 chili entries. Science Math and Business Department Chair Karen Bond took first place with Director of Nursing Education Dr. Arlene Jones taking second place and employee duo Jamie Amacker and Lisa Mapp claiming third.
“The chili cook-off was a great chance for employees across departments to interact with one another as well as an opportunity to invite the community to be a part of the fun before the Halloween concert,” Faculty and Staff Association President and Instructor of Biology Lonnie Burchell said. “The association would like to thank all those who participated and a special thank you to our fantastic chili cooks and judges.”
Tricks or Treats
The night ended with PRCC student groups treating young concert attendees to enchanting sweet treats in the Brownstone lobby as the audience exited the lobby. There were several engagement opportunities before their departure as kids and adults alike took pictures with members of the OZ cast in full bewitching costume.
PRCC’s Forrest County Center Campus will the celebrating the holidays with a Making Sprits Bright holiday concert Nov. 20 at 7 p.m. in the Building 5 Multipurpose Room. Tickets will be $8 or $100 for a reserved table of 10 tickets. For ticket information call 601-554-5563.
PRCC is already preparing for the 3rd annual Wildcat Wonderland free community event Nov. 21 from 5-7 p.m. on the Poplarville Campus. This event brought over 2,500 attendees last year and the college is looking forward to an even bigger crowd this year. Visitors can expect cookie decorating, ornament making, train rides, a live nativity, and much more. Plenty of picture opportunities will be available including a visit by the jolly man himself as Santa accepts last minute present requests and poses for pictures in the Brownstone lobby throughout the event. Make sure to bring a camera.
The Brownstone Center is also preparing for a holiday season of performances starting with the Holiday Traditions concert Nov. 21 after the Wildcat Wonderland with audience members being treated to an exploration of holiday celebrations throughout the year performed by PRCC Fine Arts and Communication students. The semester will close with performances of The Nutcracker by the South Mississippi Ballet on Dec. 7-8.
To purchase tickets for upcoming events and to learn more about the Brownstone Center’s schedule visit prcc.edu/brownstone or call 601-403-1438.